Bernadette Stone

Chief Operating Officer


Can you tell us about what your job entails?

I am the Chief Operating Officer of the Member Engagement and Transformation team and that includes the member contact centre, retail branches, technology and data and analytics. Being new to this role my focus has been understanding our people, our challenges and our opportunities. What I love most about the role is that I have carriage of making sure our member services and operational capabilities are at the heart of what we do.

What attracted you to your current job?

When I joined RACQ two years ago I was really excited at the thought of being part of an organisation that is passionate about its employees, members and delivering value to Queensland communities. I started as Chief Technology Officer having had over 20 years’ experience in technology but also more than five years outside of technology in large transformation roles. I believe enterprise-wide transformation and large delivery experience is what led me to taking on the Chief Operating Officer role, which I started in late last year.

This year’s IWD theme is equity what does that mean to you, particularly in the workplace? 

My career's been spent predominantly in male-dominated industries (mining, transportation) and in the early years I don’t recall diversity and inclusion being a live conversation. I was naïve to issues such as the gender pay gap, unequal access to promotions, and sexual harassment or discrimination. We are lucky at RACQ, in addition to having the right policies and practices in place, we're doing the hard work in trying to shift a culture toward eliminating biases. For me, the work is in the conversation and ongoing training to identify the unconscious biases and work together to drive a culture of equity, equality, and respect for all our people.

What career advice do you have for others?

Find a mentor(s) who challenges you. I’ve been lucky in my career to have multiple supporters along my journey. But I worked with an amazing CFO when I was at Aurizon who has been my champion over the past 10 years. She is my touchstone and an important relationship to me to this day. We all have our inner dialogue that sows the seeds of doubt in our own capability at times, so you really need that person that will allow you to be vulnerable and will guide you through those times of insecurity and give you that belief in yourself.